This week, I celebrated my 1 year and 2 month mission anniversary! We had a good week. Let me try to sum up the highlights:
We spent the week helping João Victor get ready for his baptism, and we started teaching his dad, Marcos. Marcos has a drinking problem, but this week he asked us, "What do I need to do to get baptized?" We told him that he needs to quit drinking and smoking, and he said he would. He made quite a bit of progress this week and was excited to go to church. Unfortunately, when we went to pick them up morning, he wasn´t home and therefore didn´t go. But we´re not going to give up on him. He and João Victor live in very humble circumstances, and we know that the gospel will be an amazing blessing in their lives.
I got to play the piano at our stake president´s baptism this week, which is always great. Once again, thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to play piano. It´s one of my favorite ways to serve :)
One day, we were walking along a street when a man named Carlos, who is an inactive member that we had met last week, called us over and invited us in to eat a delicious homemade soup that he had made. It had been kind of a discouraging day and that small act of kindness touched my heart and meant a lot to me. I´m so grateful for people who are willing to reach out and serve those around them, because the small things can make a huge difference in someone´s day.
We´re teaching one of Lucas´ friends, Francisco (also known as Chiquinho), who is a 12-year-old boy. He´s super intelligent and he pays attention to everything we say. He said he had already been baptized in another church, but when we explained that he needs to be baptized in the same way that Jesus Christ was, he said he wanted to get baptized, so it´s scheduled for. We´re hoping it all works out, because we already see him as a future missionary :)
We´re also teaching a 7-year-old girl who always comes to church with her member uncle and who is going to turn 8 on. Her name is Maria Clara, and she has become my shadow. On Sundays, she follows me around wherever I go and it´s pretty adorable. She´s excited for her baptism.
And....we saw a miracle happen. We picked up João Victor for church and while we were walking around picking up other people, he started saying that he didn´t want to get baptized anymore. He continued saying that on the bus, and during all 3 hours of church. We tried talking to him and asking him why he changed his mind, but he wouldn´t tell us. Sister Stadler and I went into a classroom by ourselves and said one of the most fervent prayers of our lives that the Lord would touch his heart and that everything would work out, and when he came out of the young men´s lesson, he went into the bathroom with Alberto (a young man that the sisters teach who also got baptized yesterday) and they came out dressed in their baptismal clothes. It was literally a miracle and the baptism was beautiful. I wanted to cry when I saw João Victor in the water, because I know that that decision he made is going to change his life. He has huge potential and we´re so excited to see him progress.
And, last night, I got to Skype my beautiful family! It was so good to see everyone and hear their voices <3 And I didn´t even cry this time, probably because I know I´m going to see everyone. And afterwards, Fernanda (Brad´s wife) made us huge, delicious chocolate chip cookies :) What a great way to end a great week!
Amy in front of the "mother" store